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Make Your Room Sound Awesome

Do you know that the room acoustics can make or break the sound of your music system? No matter how snazzy and costly your equipment is, if the listening room has bad acoustics, then it defeats the very purpose of having a high-tech home stereo system.

People do not give importance to the room acoustics

In setting up a perfect living room, people are usually concerned with how the furniture are placed, the design and colour of the draperies, the carpet, and paintings on the wall. But for those who are jazzing up the room, these are the very things that can mar how the music emanates from the speakers of your music system. After all, we are going to indulge our senses with beautiful music in our living room. We do not want our room to be “dead”, do we?

Alive and dead rooms

Moderation is good in most aspects and the same is true for the music room. We do not want our room to be too alive or too dead. An accumulation of hard, reflective surfaces makes the room too alive, making it sound almost like an indoor stadium or gymnasium. There are echoes everywhere and it’s basically a confusing cacophony of hard-edged sounds. On the other extreme, a dead room is one which has thick carpeting, draperies, and ill-placed furniture all around. Now, this is a suffocating, muffled room and music is dead here.

Direct and indirect sound

We are concerned with two kinds of sound: direct sound and indirect sound. The direct sound is the one emanating from the speakers of the system and is the one that comes to our ears directly from the source. Direct sounds help us measure the tonal quality and gauge the direction of the source. The indirect sound is the reflected sound that bounces off the floor, the wall, the ceiling, the furniture and almost everything in the room. Indirect sound helps us gauge the distance of the source and the general size of the room (or environment).

The fine balance

The alive-dead nature of an environment depends on its absorptive/reflective qualities. A fine mix of these qualities defines the acoustic capacity of a room. We should strike a fine balance between the two. We can throw away all the dead-inducing components in our room and do away overly alive conditions.

The music matters

We should not ignore the value of acoustic treatment of our living room. A sonically pleasing environment enables us to absorb the music and open up our senses. Music may be all about one’s perception and subjective choice, but a little planning and imagination can work wonders and make your room sound truly awesome.

Sukumar Thingom

2 Comments

  1. I find this information very helpful. I am a musician, a piano player, and sound is very important to me. Thank you for the explanation of what makes good acoustics when trying to get the best from a good stereo system. I think I might look into my flooring and my furniture and work more on finding that balance. Makes a big difference.

    • Joy,
      Glad that you liked my post. The room acoustics is important but one that is ignored the most. I’ll add more content to the post on how to test for a overtly alive room and a dead one. Do see when it gets updated.

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